Why it’s wrong for media to seek ‘balance’ in discussions of antisemitism

Jenny Manson is the not terribly bright retired tax inspector who told the world in September that the antisemitism crisis would have ”no long term bad effects on the Labour Party”. She said this on a BBC World News programme where I was debating with her.

Manson  co-chairs Jewish Voice for Labour, a tiny group of completely unrepresentative Jews who have come together to support Corbyn and whitewash antisemitism in the Labour Party.  You can see how unrepresentative they are by the fact that back in September, 86% of British Jews thought Corbyn was an antisemite. Today it would surely be considerably higher, after the resignations from Labour of Luciana Berger and Joan Ryan and further revelations of antisemitism from Corbyn’s past. And before the May 2017 election just 13% of Jews planned to vote Labour. Now – with The Independent Group polling over 15% and Labour down below 25% – you can be sure that the proportion of Jews who would vote Labour is well under 10%.

Why on earth would the media want to know Manson’s views, you might well ask?

The answer lies in the doctrine of ‘Due Impartiality’. The BBC’s Editorial Guidelines for example say that controversial subjects must be treated with ‘due impartiality’.

It seems that the BBC and some other media (LBC for example) think that antisemitism is a subject to be debated – like foxhunting or fracking. For every Jew who calls out antisemitism on a TV programme there has to be another who thinks the opposite. To see how ridiculously offensive this is, imagine the same policy as regards hatred of Muslims – or Blacks – or Gays – or Women. Imagine on the News – after Darren Osborne drove into the crowd outside Finsbury Mosque – the BBC interviewed someone who agreed with him, in the interest of ‘due impartiality’………

Manson was on both the PM programme on BBC Radio 4 yesterday and Newsnight on BBC2TV later, speaking about the suspension of Williamson. Her contribution to PM was execrable:

“Antisemitism is hatred of Jews with a sense of impending violence and it has been stretched to be criticism of Israel that people don’t like”

“A terrible injustice happened to Chris Williamson. He’s a remarkable antiracist.”

“We’ve discovered [JVL has discovered, she means] that antisemitism is no higher in Labour than in other Parties.”

“A lot of groups within the Jewish Community who do not consider it [antisemitism in Labour] a major problem, including for example the Charedi [ultra-orthodox] Jews who have written letters supporting Jeremy Corbyn and who I speak to quite frequently, who have met antisemites all their lives but not from people in the Labour Party.”

She is thinking of course of Neturei Karta, the tiny sect which makes up just 0.03% of the world’s Jewish population. But there are many Charedi sects, dwarfing the numbers in Neturei Karta! Anyone with even a passing knowledge of Judaism knows that. Many Charedi groups support Israel. The idea that Manson regularly sallies forth from Hampstead Garden Suburb to commune with Charedim in Stamford Hill is laughable.

But the  media’s insistence on imposing Jews who deny antisemitism on us – in the form of Manson, Secker, Wimborne-Idrissi and Rosenhead – in the interest of a warped search for ‘balance’ – is far from laughable.